10 New Year Resolutions for Web Developers: A Recommendation To Self

So is anew year, new chapter new everything. You might as well pick up a new toolkit to aid your workflow this year. Below are some of my recommendations to myself most especially for what I am resolute to imbibe in my work this year. Stay stunned to see if you find something useful to you own workflow.

1. Keep a Utility Library orFrameworks

I just created the word “utility library” but to me what it means is a compilation of code, files or tools peculiar to your own workflow. It could be in form of a folder containing your common CSS starter files, your basic html layouts for web-page sections or even a library of common JavaScript functions peculiar to you or your team. Basically what I am saying is that inefficiencies that come from rewriting the same code for every project needs to be eliminated in order to save you time that can be directed to other activities. For example always writing: console.log(‘string’) 100 times, when you could create a function called log and pass it your string.

2. Choose Your Preferred Web Development Tools and Stick by Them

This is important because very often we as web developers get overwhelmed by the humongous amount of frameworks, libraries and programming languages that all promise to be the best at what they do and ina bid to choose the best of the available options we become paralyzed and never start that project which we would love to deploy simply because we cant make up our minds whether to use vue.js or react. I love vue.js by the way. From my observation I have found that all the various options available for web development whether front-end or back-end can get you to a decent MVP for what ever you are making. Therefore it is better to build what you want and discover you made a wrong choice of technology stack while building a successful product than never starting something because you are seeking the best option.

3. Leave the Scratch Mentality

I have nothing against starting your project from scratch or writing all the JavaScript config for a webpack project when you can just clone a GitHub repo, but it is really not the best approach in a result oriented system which is what the real world is. Nobody or at least your end user does not care how many lines of code you had to go through to get them that great feature they have being asking for, they just want something that works. What do you gain from writing your CSS from scratch when your colleague presents a better work done using bootstrap in half the time. I am just saying its time to up your game and use as many opensource tools available to you so you can get your product out there to your customers. Don’t keep your solutions to people’s problems away for too long just because you cant get your self to use bootstrap. Shame on you.

4. Take a Design Course

These days the gap between developer and designer is closing even more rapidly as users are making decisions heavily based their visual satisfaction. You might say, designing is not for you let me stick to code but really you never know, you might actually have an eye for design which would be valuable to you and your team. It would also help you relate better with you designer colleges. What if you are a solo developers, try making designer friends or take a design course on Udemy. For example if you could make a super functional button, it wouldn’t hurt to find out how a supper cool button looks like. I still see solo developers who give no consideration to what their applications look simply because it works. What harm can “it works and it looks good” do.

5. Build Something Useful

As developers I believe we truly have the power to bring change to the word especially because of this age of heavy dependence on the internet and technology. We could make an app or a website that solves peoples problems. For example make a website for fundraising, make an app to help people stay healthy or write code that people can clone from GitHub. Whatever it is, seek time to create something that truly adds value to peoples life and who knows, you might make a fortune out of it. You don’t have to stress if you don’t have an idea right now, but keep it in mind that you want to add value to people with your work and sooner or later you will find yourself doing it.

6. Take Care of Your Health Mehn!

Because of the nature of our work, we usually can’t help not living a sedentary lifestyle and eat unhealthy food all in the name of stress eating or something. We must take out time to exercise, eat healthy foods and rest. One very important part of our health is our our eye health. Long hours consuming the rays from our laptop screen can have side effects to our eyes (in my experience). So it is important to invest in computer glasses, anti-reflective lenses, and regular eye checkups. Apps like eyeleo can help you remember to take time off from your screen and use apps like f.lux or switch on night mode on your windows PC filter out the blue rays from the screen. In short, our health is what enables us to do our work longer and better, so we must find balance between work and health, but know that health comes first.

7. Teach Someone

When I started learning to code, I would go on stack exchange to ask questions and I would find one arrogant person drop me a message telling me how I am not supposed to ask that kind of question, without giving me any suggestions as to where I can get help (Why border to waste that energy typing if you cannot provide solution as well). What I am saying is that as intermediate or Pros we often get carried away with our skills (in quote) that we look down on beginners, but really everyone started from there. I teach people as much I can because apart from the fact that I enjoy it, I often get to learn new things, see things from a different light or have a whole new understanding about something.

8. Use Git and Embrace Team Work

I have spent a long period of my coding years not using Git or Github for my projects and I have regretted every bit of it. Why do I say so. Well, Git has a way of making your workflow easier to comprehend. For example I used to create multiple folders for version control but after a friend introduced me to Git workflows, my projects have never remained the same. If you work with a team, using Git would help your team so much you wouldn’t believe it. Also if you would like your work to be private you can use Gitlab or Bitbucket to create private repositories or projects for free.

9. Optimize Your Workflow

A lot of teaching about productivity have to do with putting in more time, but I believe having the right workflow and optimizing it can bring you better results. Workflow is very important to what we do in web development as most of our work follows the same pattern and require similar approach to achieving results. So it makes sense to ask the question “How can it be done better” before, during and after every project. Optimizing your workflow can come in different ways. For example, Getting a more comfortable chair, buying a gaming mouse with extra buttons, getting you preferred keyboard, paying for that premium software package that would make you 50% more productive, using open source frameworks, finding the best time to work, getting more rest, organizing your system project files, documentation etc. Whatever it is, make sure you are always seeking the best way to go about your work so you don’t cheat yourself out of the benefits of optimization. For me I always seek out better approaches to what I am already good at.

10. Make that Leap

One thing we all have in come as people, is we have desires, dreams and goals to reach, but we always allow considerations, fears and obstacles prevent us from getting to where we so desire. For web developers, your considerations might be whether you are using the right framework or hosting plan or programming language. Your fears might be asking for a raise or starting your own company. Obstacles might be your current skill set or economic atmosphere. Whatever the case may be, you have to make a commitment to fight through the challenges and get yourself what you want from life, because you are worth it.

Finally, there is no aim in making a resolution, if you don’t realize you have to be resolute about your decisions, you must be firm in take action, put in the work, and be ready to blame nobody but yourself not even the resolution, but yourself if you fail to keep your resolution. But if you put in the work, you will be very grateful by the end of the year you did. Thank you and HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Dubem Izuorah

On a journey to building business solutions using web technologies, while merging with design, art and fun. I create with WordPress, JavaScript, Vue.js, and Blender 3D in my spare time. Basically I am an artist turned designer, turned developer. don't judge me, I am just having Fun.

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